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Posted: 6/13/2009 11:27:11 AM EST
Will be out of town for about a month and a few guys at work are saying this is a great time to drain the water heater & turn it off & then turn the water off so if something happens nothing will be flooded.

We have never turned the gas water heater off or drained it in over 7 years, but it's working great.

Is this a good idea, or should we ignore it?
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 12:45:08 PM EST
Turning off the water heater will save you some $$$. If it's electric, turn off the breaker. If it's gas, turn the thermostat to "pilot". I don't know how to turn off oil burning water heaters.

Turning off the water is a good way to minimize a potential flood if the heater starts to leak. Just close the intake valve.

Draining it? Eh, too much work.

RF

Link Posted: 6/13/2009 12:55:29 PM EST
it is a gas heater, is the pilot position the same as off??

do you need to drain the water in a water heater to prevent rust??
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 12:55:52 PM EST
After 7 years, forget flushing or draining it. Just set the thermostat to pilot. I personally always turn off the water to the house [I have a well] if I go on vacation. Nothing worse then coming home to a flooded house.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 4:03:44 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 1:16:02 PM EST
Originally Posted By Bullwinkle17:
it is a gas heater, is the pilot position the same as off??

do you need to drain the water in a water heater to prevent rust??


Hmmm.... are you saying your water heater does have a "pilot" setting? If so, then likely off is the pilot setting.

Do this, turn it to off. When you come home, turn it back on. If you don't hear the heater start up, the "off" setting killed the pilot too. Just relight it.

It is a good idea to drain a water heater every year or so, but at this point I wouldn't worry about it.

RF
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 2:42:16 PM EST
If it's gas it will have an off and a pilot setting. Off breaks the circuit between the thermocouple and safety in the thermostat and shuts ALL gas off to it to include the pilot line and main burner line. The pilot setting is the position where you relight the pilot and once enough MV current is produced, the safety will hold and allow gas to continue to flow to the pilot assy once the button is released. Leave it in that position and the pilot remains lit but the main burner cannot fire.
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